A very jam-packed day in Baltimore, with six hours of playing and a whole lot of music. Some phrases that stick in my mind from the day:
- “Use less bow.” From my private lesson this morning with Gregory Kuperstein, a BSO first violinist, originally from Russia, and a long-time orchestra member.
- “In this section, it’s very noisy with drums and horns, so if you get the notes wrong, it’s not a big deal.” GK, again, commenting on the Hindemith. (You have to imagine the Russian accent).
- “Balance your skull over your spine, and release your legs to the floor.” From this morning’s class on the Alexander Technique.
- “When you are exhausted, you start muscling through, and that’s when injuries happen.” From this morning’s session with a physical therapist, who warned that unless a therapist specializes in musicians, they may give you the wrong treatment.
- “Here’s a simple stretch for string players to relieve tension in your hands before and after you play.” Advice from same physical therapist. One hour later, therapist is mentally subjected to some choice language when stretching results in a cramp in my left hand (the one that fingers the strings) just as sectional practice is beginning.
- “Have any of you tried playing the first violin solos in the Rimskey-Korsakov”. In violin sectional practice. Several players start demonstrating their proficiency. I am firmly shaking my head — isn’t the concertmaster supposed to play those and let me just do the pizzicato?
- “In this section, it’s very noisy with drums and horns, so if you get the notes wrong, it’s not a big deal.” Igor Yuzefovich, Assistant Concertmaster leading the string sectional, commenting on the Hindemith. He was born in Russian, but doesn’t have the accent.
- “Each of you WILL play a violin solo in the Rimskey-Korsakov. Expect Marin to call on you during rehearsal tomorrow.” IY’s announcement at the end of the string sectional. Yikes! Where is the practice room?
- “WE DID IT.” Group chorus after our string quintet manages to sight-read through the entire Dvorak Quintet in G Major, before deciding to focus on the Scherzo (2nd movement) only for Friday night’s concert.
- “Thank goodness we decided not to stay in the dorm.” Viola Judy and myself, as we return to our hotel room after a 12 hour day of music to freshly made beds and clean towels. The folks staying in the dorm have been without hot water because of a malfunction, and have to get through the week using only one towel.